Like any self respecting Southerner, the Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. Yup. I went there. Not the traditional fan favorites of Thanksgiving with the mountains of casseroles, or Christmas with its secret santa exchanges but the Heartland’s birthday. That being said, you can understand why I was more than a tad crestfallen upon the realization that I would not in fact be in the Land of the Free for the holiday.
Luckily, nearby Panajachel is home of the infamous Palapa, an ex-pat hot spot, who was hosting a Fourth of July cookout/pot luck! With spirits rejuvinated, I quickly occupied myself with constructing the perfect patriotic get-up with the limited resources at my disposal. Additionally, and nearly equally as important, was my contribution to the pot luck. After a cursory perusal of Pintrest, I stumbled upon what seemed the only doable option considering there isn’t exactly a Sololá Whole Foods. Andrea, a fellow Manna vol, and I agreed upon these adorable strawberries you dip in white chocolate and then blue sugar, creating a nice layering effect while incorporating the three colors of the day into a healthy(ish) dessert! While I soon realized that white chocolate was out of the question, we managed to throw together some blue sugar and white icing dipped strawberries which, while not exactly pin-worthy, were still delicious.
Well, the big day arrived and I blasted my “Cuatro de Julio” country playlist throughout the Manna manor. We readied ourselves (3 out of 5 wearing red, white, and blue plaid) for an Independence Day extravaganza at a local high school where we were to serve as the token Americans and thus guests of honor. Seated front and center, the children delighted us in their “English Day's” (the apostrophe is not a typo) shows depicting their thoughts on America. These lovely vingettes tackled controversial issues such as racism, abortion, domestic violence, teen pregnancy, cheating, bullying, etc. All clearly communicating their positive opinions of their friends to the North. All in all, despite (or perhaps due to) the unsettling content, it was positively hilarious.
As far as the party outfit quandary, anyone who knows me knows that at twenty years of age I still shamelessly sport bows on the daily. So, with bows on the mind I stopped in an amazing ribbon shop and purchased 9 yards of bright red, navy blue, and shimmery silver ribbons only for 12Q (about $1.50). Anyways, after a group nail painting sesh, bow making, and primping, we were decked out and ready to take Pana by storm. After an initially awkward arrival (no one else dressed up), the night took off with many a sing along to “American Pie” and the like. While I was quite nostalgic for my classic Fourth of July festivities, the night was fantastic and singin’ the classics with other gringos felt, for a moment, like I was right back home in the US of A.
God Bless Los Estados Unidos,